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The abandoned North Wilkesboro Speedway.

The track was originally opened by Enoch Staley on May 18, 1947 as a dirt track, right as NASCAR was being fully brought to life. This speedway would eventually come to host some of the most memorable races in NASCAR history.

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Enoch was inspired by stock car races, which he had attended in 1945. The races he had attended were hosted by Bill France. When Enoch had the vision for a brand new track, he reached out to Bill France to promote the races he had wished to hold.

With an initial investment of $1,500, the track was completed with a downhill slope on the front stretch, and an uphill slope on the back.

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Bill France agreed to promote the first official race, with an expected attendance of 3,000. The attended far surpassed what was initially expected, reaching over 10,000, all there to witness one of the famous Flock brothers win the race.

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On October 16, 1949, the 8th and final race of the 1949 NASCAR Strictly Stock Division was held at the speedway. Kenneth Wagner won the first Cup Pole at the track with a speed of 57.563 mph.

During the 1950s, North Wilkesboro gained a reputation as one of the fastest short-tracks in auto racing, with speeds reaching 73 mph. Many legendary racers of these years took part in races at North Wilkesboro.

This legendary race track came to operation as a paved track in 1957.

The track held 93 Winston Cup Series races, among numerous NASCAR events, and many other races until finally closing in 1996.

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The track was opened again briefly from 2010 – 2011 to host several stock car series races, including ASA Late Model Series, USA Racing Pro Cup Series and PASS Super Late Models.

You can view the entire set of photos below, and you can read much more about the history of this amazing race track by clicking HERE

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